Kroos and Gündogan light the fuse for the Euro Cup | Euro Cup Germany 2024

The old partnership of Kroos and Gündogan completed one of the most placid matches in memory and Scotland surrendered without a fight to a decompressed, vigorous and happy Germany. Finally freed from the tension of waiting, the team began its Euro Cup with a blow of authority that found no response. Shaken by the political tensions of a country that feels threatened by decline, the local fans celebrated with hardly any displays of patriotism. A certain restraint reigned in the face of the noisy visitors from the north. The 5-1 was the biggest win recorded in the debut of a European Championship.


Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Jonathan Tah, Rüdiger, Mittelstädt, Robert Andrich (Groß, min. 45), Kroos (Emre Can, min. 80), Jamal Musiala (Müller, min. 73), Gündogan, Florian Wirtz (Sane, min. . 62) and Kai Havertz (Füllkrug, min. 62)



Angus Gunn, A. Robertson, Ryan Porteous, Anthony Ralston, Tierney (Scott McKenna, min. 77), Hendry, McTominay, McGregor (Gilmour, min. 67), Ryan Christie (Lawrence Shankland, min. 81), McGinn (Kenny McLean, min. 67) and Che Adams (Hanley, min. 45)

Goals 1-0 min. 10: Florian Wirtz. 2-0 min. 19: Jamal Musiala. 3-0 min. 46: Kai Havertz. 4-0 min. 68: Füllkrug. 4-1 min. 87: Rüdiger (pp). 5-1 min. 93: Emre Can.

Referee Clement Turpin

Yellow cards Robert Andrich (min. 30), Anthony Ralston (min. 47) and Jonathan Tah (min. 62)

red cards Ryan Porteous (min. 44)

The piper struck the notes of The Brave and the 10,000 men in kilt skirts, those who had tickets, began to occupy the stands of the Munich Arena, like a small detachment, happy and spirited, that advances and separates itself from an endless column of reserves that remain outside. The British consulate in Bavaria indicated that up to 200,000 Scots came to see their team in the debut of the Euro Cup. The vast majority, with no hope of entering the stadium, were content to enjoy the walk while drinking the famous beer patented by the Augustinian monks. If Steve Clarke, the coach, the national leader who brought this movement together, had managed to transfer a particle of this adventurous enthusiasm to his team, if his players had behaved with the same optimism, Scotland would have had a better chance. He didn’t have one: zero shots against twenty. Because she didn’t have it, she didn’t even threaten to entertain herself, with so much wasted tension, so much disorder, so much football nonsense.

The folklore lasted for several nights of revelry. But Scotland’s football ran out in ten minutes. It was enough for Steve Clarke to place his players in the worst possible situation: middle block. Neither locked in their area, nor in an attitude of putting pressure on the Germans when they started the plays, this formation freed up spaces behind the visiting defense and allowed Toni Kroos to make the first passes after calibrating each maneuver and scanning the horizon calmly. . Nobody bothered the midfielder who channels Germany’s game and Gündogan had the ability to offer himself to his deliveries with the regularity of a pacemaker. Moving up and down, from the central circle to the backs of McGregor and McTominay, the Barça midfielder became the intermediate station in his team’s advance and a cause of breakdown in the opponent’s formation.

The Scottish pivots did not know whether to advance or retreat and their centre-backs did not dare to go out to anticipate anyone, paralyzed by the ingenuity of Gündogan, Musiala and Wirtz, when Kroos slipped while hitting the ball. The tenth minute passed and it became evident that Kroos chose the wrong studs, because his support foot, the left one, did not find support throughout the first half. But off balance and all, his 50-meter change of direction found Kimmich running alone down the wing. With space, the winger crossed the center and Wirtz finished it off from the edge of the area. Gunn almost deflected the shot, but the stick joined forces with the attackers and the score was 1-0.

Clarke has a reputation as a charismatic leader. He inspires confidence in what he hints at. On the eve of traveling to Germany, he pointed out that avoiding defeat in the opening match against the power that organizes his tournament would be a splendid result for a team that had not reached a major final phase since the 1998 World Cup. His players took to the field to avoid the defeat and by lowering the bar they found themselves positioned in no man’s land, indecisive and without faith. The 2-0 was created with another pass from Kroos to Gündogan, who turned in front of McGregor before leaving Havertz alone against the goalkeeper in a play that Musiala ended up finishing. The 3-0, consequence of a penalty and an expulsion caused by Gündogan, left Scotland in ruins before the break. The best of the second half was also the work of Gündogan, who back-heeled Füllkrug to make it 4-0. At the end Can made it 5-0 in a relaxed atmosphere typical of training.

Scotland’s goal was scored by Rüdiger in his own goal, of course, after a lateral foul. The traveling fans celebrated it as a great success. They even sang Flower of Scotland, coda of a one-way match and a historic party.

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